WASHINGTON – Hundreds of thousands of people from around the country rallied in the nation’s capital Saturday to send a single message to lawmakers: Enough is enough.
David Hogg, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior and event organizer, said it’s time to remove politicians supported by the National Rifle Association because “this isn’t cutting it.”
“To those politicians supported by the NRA, that allow the continued slaughter of our children and our future, I say: get your resumes ready,” Hogg said.
The demonstration was the work of Hogg and fellow students at the Parkland, Florida, high school where a gunman killed 14 students and three staff members on Valentine’s Day. Saturday’s March for Our Lives – and more than 800 sister marches around the world – was a response to that massacre.
Georgia native Adam Marx, 27, said he was most impressed by how the students have risen up in this movement.
“These students are leaders,” Marx said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re 16, 17 or 27 … age is a number. [Having a] mission, passion or vision for what we want to have for people living here, that’s not restricted to a number. It’s that simple.”
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School sophomores Jorgie Garrido and Anna Bayuk were among many of their fellow students at the nation’s capital. They described the atmosphere in one word – unity.
“To see all the people that came out, the students, and especially the non-students, it’s really reassuring,” Garrido said. “It provides a sense of unity where you can see how many people are standing with you, how many people are supporting you, and how many other people are also demanding change in this country. “
Garrido knew Helena Ramsay, 17, and Carmen Schentrup, 16, and Bayuk knew Jaime Guttenburg, 14, who were killed in last month’s shooting.
“I know that my friends, if they had survived and other children had died, they would be here too,” Garrido said. “They would be fighting for the same things we are. To know that we’re trying to guarantee that no other child ends up like they did, shot dead in a classroom, I think that that’s the best way to pay respect to them.”
Bayuk said she and her classmates will be transitioning back into their routines after they travel home, but they will keep advocating for stricter gun laws.
“We’re going to be moving on and trying to get back to everyday life, but there’s a new normal, and we can’t just sink back into complacency and sink back into being quiet,” she said.
By Adam Hamza and Alexandra Sosik
Capital News Service